Man sentenced to prison for tweeting to suppress votes for Trump

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.

RuaridhConnellan | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

A Trump-supporting social media influencer was sentenced to seven months in prison for conspiring to suppress the votes of presumably hundreds of people that supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton within the 2016 presidential election.

Douglass Mackey, who was 33 when he was convicted in March, was additionally ordered to pay a $15,000 tremendous. Mackey, who was identified to his 58,000 Twitter followers as Ricky Vaughn, conspired to unfold fraudulent messages and ads geared toward Black and feminine voters.

Shortly forward of the 2016 elections, these Twitter ads advised voters that they might keep away from strains at voting cubicles by texting “Hillary” to a five-digit telephone quantity. Voting by textual content doesn’t exist within the United States.

At trial, the prosecution noticed that Mackey had a “lengthy, established historical past of believing black individuals are confused and silly,” and believed that “girls should not vote.” Mackey made podcast appearances and social media posts about these beliefs, prosecutors stated.

In the times previous Election Day and on the day itself, at the very least 4,900 telephone numbers texted “‘Hillary’ or some spinoff,” prosecutors stated in a press launch, “which had been utilized in a number of misleading marketing campaign pictures that Mackey and his co-conspirators tweet.”

It was not instantly clear if anybody failed to vote because of Mackey’s scheme. Prosecutors stated that 99% of the texts acquired by that quantity have been despatched after Mackey first posted a misleading Hillary commercial from one among his social media accounts.

Andrew Frisch, Mackey’s lawyer, advised CNBC he remained “optimistic” about Mackey’s prospects on enchantment, which has not but been taken up.

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